Healing help for scars

My father used to tell me that scars were “just tattoos with better stories”. In my experience they make for interesting conversation.

Scars are formed naturally when the body is trying to lay down new tissue (collagen fibers) after a trauma. The issue is the new collagen fibers that are laid down can be thicker than the normal healthy tissue. The fibers are also laid down in a way that can affect the elasticity of the tissue and the fascia.

Fascia is connective tissue that is like a one piece body suit that connects every part of your body. When the fascia is restricted it can result in postural problems. A c-section scar can cause the pelvis to tilt forward for example. It may  affect the mobility or function of other parts of the body. An appendectomy scar,  for instance, can cause right hip problems by pulling the hip towards the scar and affecting mobility.

Scar tissue can be caused from cuts, burns, and traumas. Surgeries always leave behind some scar tissue, even cosmetic and laproscopic surgeries (done through tiny hole).  The problem with laproscopic surgeries is that they leave lots of scaring or adhesions internally.  Adhesions may result in two organs sticking together, being pulled out of place, or limiting their function. Any disease that causes inflammation has the potential to leave behind adhesions such as inflammatory bowel disease, pneumonia, or endometriosis.

Other complications from scars can be neurological issues; there may be local numbness or the entire autonomic nervous system could be involved, affecting the body’s ability to regulate and heal itself. Some people may be hypersensitive to their scars and others describe a “dead” zone where there is a lack of sensation. Scars may also disrupt circulation, lymphatic flow, and energetic flow. They can also be a source of chronic pain due to their widespread affect on the body. 

As many scars are related to trauma they may often be laced with deeper emotional issues the person may or may not even be conscious of. These issues can be released on a cellular level through body work. Having the support of a psychotherapist or even guidance from a hypnotherapist can help in resolving and moving forward from old traumas.

Proper treatment at the time of trauma  can vastly improve the outcome of scaring such as minimizing infection, vitamin E and aloe, avoiding sun exposure, and allowing the body the time to properly rest and recover with minimal stress. Introducing rehabilitation may also be critical, depending on the nature of it. Proper nutrition is also essential for tissue repair and when you use food as medicine (with guidance from a nutritionist) you can minimize inflammation.

However, even old scars that effect the entire being of a person can still be treated years later. Manual Therapists can help help to break apart scar tissue. The techniques are simple enough that we can even show you how to do it on yourself. Massaging the area or local stretching of the scar tissue can improve the quality of the tissue. Manual Therapists are experts in releasing the deeper layers of scars and working with the fascia. 

So bring in your scars and tell us your story. There’s a good chance we can help you feel better.

About the author ...

Stacey Lee Shaw, RMT, is a graduate of the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy. She offers Bowen Therapy, Reiki, and Hot stone massage, in addition to Swedish massage. She has studied Labour Support as a Massage Therapist, as well as Equine Massage.